This recipe is straight from ZAHAV- A World of Israeli Cooking, which I highly recommend if you enjoy cooking and flavors of the Mediterranean. Once the beets start coming in at White Arrow, this is the first thing I make. And then I make it every chance I get until the last beet is harvested. The recipe is somewhat time-consuming, but trust me, it is more than worth it!
Beets with Tehina
- 5 cups plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 medium beets
- 1/2 cup basic tehina sauce (recipe to follow)
- 1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Basic Tehina Sauce
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup tehini
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- Preheat oven to 375 F. In a baking dish (one that just fits the beets), spread a layer of salt on the bottom (about 1 cup). Place the beets on top of the salt layer and cover with the remaining salt (the beets should be mostly covered). Bake for 90 minutes.
- While beets are baking, make the basic tehina sauce.
- peel the garlic cloves and press with garlic press into a bowl.
- add lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the garlic. Let sit for 10 minutes to mellow the garlic.
- pour lemon juice and garlic through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing the garlic until all liquid has been extracted.
- add tehina, salt, and cumin to lemon juice and whisk until combined- the mixture should thicken and be tough to stir.
- add a few tablespoons of cold water at a time and whisk to thin it out.
- the sauce will lighten as you mix it, keep adding water until the mixture is smooth and no longer seizes up.
- the final sauce should be smooth, creamy, but thick.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove them from the salt and peel (a paring knife will help here).
- Once the beets are completely cool, grate the beets using the course side of a box grater. Add the tehina sauce, lemon juice, dill, and mint. Eye-ball the olive oil, adding a little bit at a time. Mix well to blend, and the dip will be an amazing magenta color. Season with salt if needed and serve cold or at room temperature.
You can literally put this dip on anything- crudites, pita bread, toast, anything!